Gender? Nope, Not a Thing

Male vs. Female

In “His & Hers? Designing for a Post-Gender Society” Suzanne Tick argues that designers today should encourage and support the changing views of gender within their work. Furthermore, Tick discusses the influence of Modernism (an art form that focuses on visual elements such as line, color, and form) and how this particular form draws its influence from mostly male figures. In other words, Tick believes that gender is man-made thing, and we should look past the norms to “[create] environments in which people can have their own individuality.” To be more specific, Tick explains how androgyny is becoming more and more common. As explained in the article, a lot of public entities, like schools and large businesses, are coming to accept and incorporate uni-sex and gender-neutral aspects into their basic functions. Another point Tick brings up is how Mother Nature is becoming an influence on design because sustainability is becoming increasingly important. While mother nature isn’t considered a part of the modernism movement, it’s a big part of design today and shows the breaking down of barriers for women and feminism in a world dominated by males. Overall, Tick emphasizes how the ideas of male and female are being overlooked in the modern world to include everyone, and she explains how designers should not fall behind in this ideology.

On a practical level, I believe that Tick is onto something with her idea. Gender really is a man-made concept, and its use is becoming less and less necessary. There are multiple ways a person can classify themselves¹ in terms of gender. Whatsmore, design is really a reflection of a designer and the society they² are submerged in. The modernist movement, for example, was led by mostly men, so a lot of the designs that came out of it were phallic and masculine in some way. In the 21st century, however, more and more women are breaking the barrier and overcoming the hierarchy that men have created. For example, Tick mentions how Emma Watson promoted the He for She Movement. Tick included Watson in her article since Watson is a well known, influential feminist. With time, the influence of big name figures, like Watson, and the general public, designers will hopefully be influenced to change up their designs to mirror common public views.

 

 

¹ Themselves is used to refer to any person regardless of gender identity

² They is used to refer to any designer regardless of gender identity

Photo from: http://providenthomedesign.com/2014/06/02/design-101-masuline-vs-feminine/

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